Confusion on MIFA’s Future Manufacturing Strategy
SANGERHAUSEN, Germany – Contradictory statements and reports on the future manufacturing strategy of the German bicycle manufacturer caused a lot of confusion. Will MIFA after concluding its current insolvency continue as volume manufacturer or operate on a much smaller scale?
Conflicting statements of MIFA’s management since the company filed for insolvency on January 4th indicate that restructuring manager Joachim Voigt-Salus is still looking for the best possible option for MIFA on the long term. His statement, “we are not focused on large volumes; on becoming the biggest bicycle factory in Europe” was countered by his spokesman five days later.
“MIFA will continue to be in market as supplier of bicycles for large volume customers,” as MIFA spokesman Christoph Möller stated last Friday. “Supermarket giants Aldi as well as the Real/Metro Group and Norma are among our customers who have confirmed their orders for 2017 after MIFA filed for insolvency.”
These contradictory statements are also indicative for MIFA’s search for its position on the market ever since Heinrich von Nathusius was urged to take-over the bankrupted MIFA in November 2014 and to save hundreds of jobs. The experienced industrialist Von Nathusius who made IFA Rotorion the largest driveshaft manufacturer in the world, was seen as the best man to rebuild the troubled bicycle manufacturer based in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt. But also for him the bicycle industry proved to be more uncontrollable and disorderly than expected.
According to reports in the German media, “like in the past MIFA will supply both the supermarket chains as well as the IBDs.” In 2016 some 50,000 units or one-eighth of the total production of 400,000 bicycles in Sangerhausen were distributed among IBDs.